Verde Heritage By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
1925: COTTONWOOD FIRE; Cottonwood Hotel and Store.
While the ruins of their Cottonwood Hotel and store were still smoldering, the Giordano family made arrangements to continue their businesses in Cottonwood.
"NOTICE OF INTENTION: Notice is hereby given that I, M. T. Cargill of the Sport Shop, intend to sell all of my stock and fixtures in that certain business styled 'The Sport Shop,' and located in Cottonwood, Yavapai county, Arizona, May 1st, 1925, to A. Giordano who will conduct the same in the future. (signed) M. T. Cargill. Subscribed and sworn before me this 20th day of April, A. D. 1925. Charles C. Stemmer, Notary Public." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; May 1, 1925; page 2, column 4.)
"BEGAN CLEARING: The Giordanos began yesterday to clear away the ruins from their two-story building with its protecting wall, that on the morning of the fire, was a hot mass of burning wreckage. ... Much of the clean debris is being absorbed in the low spots of town, and some in filling East Mason avenue [now, Pinal] which was characterized for a long time by the name of Lake Tonelli." (Verde Copper News; May 14, 1925; page 3, columns 4, 5.)
"BUILDING GOING AHEAD: The contract was let yesterday to W. F. Edens for the construction of a 29 feet wide and 72 feet long one-story concrete building on the site formerly occupied by the Cottonwood Hotel. Excavations were begun yesterday afternoon. The building is to be completed within 75 days from this date and is the largest building so far to be undertaken since the fire." (Verde Copper News; June 17, 1925; page 3, column 2.)
"TWO STORIES: The new Giordano building is going up a second story according to the latest decision and already the plans have been made and accepted whereby the walls are to be run up in 8-inch tile and all windows and doors set in and the building roofed over and put in readiness for occupation on the lower floor and ready for interior partitions, installing of plumbing and water pipes on the upper floor. Mr. Foster and Jack Brewster have been quite steadily engaged in setting in the frame for the cement lintel and laying the heavy ceiling and floor joists for the second floor." (Verde Copper News; July 17, 1925; page 3, column 3.)
"RAPID PROGRESS: W. F. Edens, who has the contract for the Giordano building, is making rapid progress and has the second floor walls up to the plate line and is now putting the ceiling joists in place to form the chords for the support of the roof. When completed this building will be one of the finest buildings in the Verde valley and will reflect considerable credit on the builder." (Verde Copper News; July 30, 1925; page 3, column 3.)
"PLASTERING HOTEL: Contractor W. F. Edens is plastering the outside of the Giordano building with a spatter-dash yellowish green coating of cement. Ignacio Rico is doing most of the plastering. ... The hotel will be a very imposing structure and the tallest in town. The opposite corner is occupied by the Eckert building which Edens is finishing and it too, is a very fine building." (Verde Copper News; August 12, 1925; page 3, column 3.)
"GIORDANO STORE MOVED: The Giordano dry goods store with a fine new line of ladies' and misses' winter dresses, sweaters, shoes, and a world of fine clothes for all classes of people, was moved to its permanent location after being temporarily located in Joe Bechetti's building for 5 months, it being 5 months exactly yesterday, since the big fire, April 20, that burned their hotel and store, along with 22 other buildings. They are in a fireproof building now that also is a fine building, the tallest in town." (Verde Copper News; September 21, 1925; page 3, columns 5, 6.)
Antonio and Mary Giordano were both born in Italy. When they came to Jerome in the 1890's, Antonio worked for the United Verde Copper Company. Their daughters, Mary Virginia (born about 1899) and Catherine Marian (born Jan. 6, 1906) were born in Jerome. After 1914, the family lived and worked at the old Haskell Ranch. Sam and Sophia Steinberg sold their Cottonwood Hotel to Antonio and Mary Giordano on May 27, 1922. Mary married Edmond Henry Snyder and Catherine married Jesse William "Bill" Glen Robinson; they all helped run the family businesses. Shortly after they retired, on December 9, 1933, Mary Giordano died at home, then her husband, Antonio Giordano, died in the United Verde hospital on the same day. The clothing store, 'Robinson's Style Shop,' became a full-time business for the Robinsons and the Snyders managed the Cottonwood Hotel and owned a dry goods business.
More information: The Verde Independent; "Then and Now: Cottonwood Hotel;" April 4, 2012.